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U-Turn from Fife Council over Music Tuition

7 October 2013

Fife council has backed down from a radical proposal to scrap instrumental music tuition for all pupils except those sitting Scottish Qualification Authority (SQA) music exams. The proposal met with furious reaction from teachers, musicians and local schools who said that such a move would rob the young people of Fife of the opportunity to learn a musical instrument.

Leader of Fife council Alex Rowley announced this weekend that the council has decided not to go ahead with the proposal, which was part of a wide range of cuts being considered by the local authority. 'My view is that if we were to take this option, we would in effect be wiping music education out,' he told reporters from Scotland on Sunday. 'This proposal will remain exactly that. It will not figure in our budget going forward. It will not happen.'  

Abolishing SQA tuition charges was one of 17 suggestions made in a report to the Scottish Government over the summer by the instrumental music group, as reported by Music Teacher last August. Learning a musical instrument is something that was once free to all children across Scotland. Following the success of its 'Let the Children Play' campaign over the summer, Scotland on Sunday is currently putting pressure on local councils to scrap instrumental tuition fees in all Scottish schools. Over the coming months, Scottish local authorities will be ordered to review their charging policies to ensure that no child who wants to learn an instrument will miss out. 

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